With Microsoft’s Ryzen 7-powered 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 becoming a member of the Ryzen 5-powered 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 already in our lab, we’ve a possibility to reply the query: Does the improve justify the worth premium? Our reply: Probably not, although we’ve offered a number of metrics that can assist you determine for your self.

It’s not an educational query. At the time of the assessment, the AMD Ryzen 7 3780U price $400 greater than our Ryzen 5-based assessment unit—although that elements in a 256GB bump within the SSD dimension, too. Because our efficiency benchmarks don’t consider cupboard space, we are able to clarify comparisons between every mannequin. Jump to the efficiency part utilizing our desk of contents if you need these solutions.

Other than the CPU, RAM, and storage variations, the Surface Laptop 3 items we have examined are largely equivalent. Here’s a fast abstract: Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 3 now swaps out the miniDP port for a contemporary USB-C connector and expands the touchpad. While the keyboard appears to have taken a step backware, the actual disappointment is the battery life, which is about the identical with both processor in our exams. We nonetheless say that the superior choice could also be an Intel Ice Lake-based Surface Laptop 3 for Business, however the top-of-the-line Ryzen 7 chip performs relatively effectively.

Now, for the specs in larger element: 

Mark Hachman / IDG

The Surface Laptop 3 in Matte Black.

Surface Laptop 3 primary specs

We reviewed the “consumer edition” of the Surface Laptop 3. Business customers don’t obtain the choice of the AMD Ryzen Surface Edition processor, the customized chip that each AMD and Microsoft helped design. Instead, each the 13-inch and 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 for Business use both an Intel Ice Lake quad-core Core i5-1035G7, or a Core i7-1065G7 chip.

Pay shut consideration to the Surface Laptop 3 costs, although: There’s a large $400 bump between the Ryzen 5 and the Ryzen 7 configuration, partly due to the the SSD change. One of the newer options of the Surface Laptop 3 is its skill to swap out the SSD, although it’s not exactly user-serviceable

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 fabric or metal Mark Hachman / IDG

Metal or material? It’s your alternative, although which you select additionally determines which configuration of the Surface Laptop 3 you’ll obtain.

A glossy, pretty design

Whereas the Surface Laptop modified little from the unique to the Surface Laptop 2, numerous new updates set the Surface Laptop 3 aside: the brand new 15-inch kind issue, in fact; the AMD-based “Surface Edition” cell Ryzen processor choice; and new shade and chassis choices. We had been provided the Matte Black 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 for assessment, however we additionally preferred the dusky Sandstone choice we noticed at the launch.

Surface Laptops have all the time aspired to be extra than simply computing units, and the glossy swathes of steel that inform the 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 are pretty each to view and to carry. The Surface Laptop 3 joins different laptops in its class which have moved to lighter supplies, and slimmed down their inside parts. It feels surprisingly gentle. Even Microsoft’s 65W charger is tiny. We didn’t discover any variations between the Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 fashions by way of weight or bodily design, nor did we count on to.

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